Friday, 20 August 2010

Scottish MP takes Air Malta’s side in Lockerbie bomb case

[This is the headline over a report published today on the website of the Maltese newspaper The Times. It refers to the SNP's Christine Grahame who is, of course, a MSP not a MP. The article reads in part:]

A Scottish television documentary alleging the Lockerbie bomb was loaded in an unaccompanied luggage in Malta was “biased” and “deeply misleading”, Scottish MP Christine Grahame insists.

Ms Grahame, a Scottish National Party representative in the Scottish Parliament, wrote to STV’s chief executive officer Rob Woodward expressing concern at the allegations repeated in the documentary broadcast earlier this month.

She said Air Malta had won a significant out-of-court settlement against Granada TV in 1993 when the same “unfounded allegations” about the airline’s involvement in the Lockerbie story had been made.

The documentary claimed the bomb was loaded in Malta on an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt, something that has always been denied by the airline and the government.

The unaccompanied luggage then purportedly made its way to Heathrow where it eventually found its way onto Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over the Scottish village of Lockerbie killing 270 people in December 1988.

“There were a number of misleading statements made in the film but I think the most worrying from STV’s perspective will be the unfounded allegation that the baggage alleged to have carried the bomb was transported, unaccompanied, on an Air Malta flight,” Ms Grahame said.

She insisted Air Malta was able to prove that all 55 bags loaded onto the flight to Frankfurt were ascribed to passengers.

“To this day, not a single shred of evidence has ever been produced showing the bomb was on the Air Malta flight,” Ms Grahame said, insisting she was extremely disappointed with the way the STV documentary recounted the events surrounding the atrocity in “a one-sided and biased manner”.

Air Malta yesterday stood by its initial reaction last week, insisting it was following developments closely. An airline spokesman said the company had nothing to add when asked whether it had instructed its lawyers to initiate legal action against STV. (...)

Concerns over the Scottish documentary were also raised by the father of one of the victims, Jim Swire, who asked the broadcaster to apologise and correct the wrong impression given about Malta.

“I wrote to STV because, being a seeker of truth myself, I do not like to see lies promulgated in public. It simply isn’t true that the Lockerbie bomb was carried by Air Malta. Indeed, it is not true that the bomb started its awful journey from Malta at all,” Dr Swire said.

Dr Swire and other Lockerbie investigators developed a theory that the bomb was most probably introduced on the fatal flight through a break-in that occurred the night before the bombing at Heathrow airport allowing access for an untraced person to the baggage loading area for Pan Am and the facility allocated in those days to Iran Air.

“Why would a state terrorist choose to risk two changes of aircraft and set his timer so that the final plane only cleared Heathrow by 38 minutes when his digital timer would have allowed him to set it to go off over the mid-Atlantic? What a crazy plot,” the embittered father said of the prosecution’s theory that pinned the blame on Mr al-Megrahi, who, at the time, was a secret service agent for the Libyan government stationed in Malta with Libyan Arab Airlines.

“How much simpler to break into Heathrow and leave a case with the explosive device for the Iranians to put into a Pan Am container at the next available opportunity,” Dr Swire said, insisting Iran had the strongest motive to retaliate after an Iran Air Airbus was shot down six months earlier by a US warship in the Persian Gulf , killing all 290 passengers. According to the US government, the crew mistakenly identified the Iranian airliner as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter.

“I did not want the viewers in Scotland to believe a fallacy of that magnitude, now re-broadcast by STV,” Dr Swire said of his Air Malta defence. (...)

Malta has always denied the bomb was loaded at Luqa airport.



    MEBO brings the PROOF: No Bag Transfer from Air Malta KM-180 onto PanAm flight PA-103 at the airport Frankfurt!

    Please read the large EBOL comment about AirMalta after the article "A tale of three atrocities" on this Bloc of 17th August 2010.

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd., Switzerland


    AirMalta Company soll eine neue Schadens Klage einreichen gegen ALLE die behaupten, publizieren und darstellen, dass AirMalta, Flug KM-180 am 21. Dezember 1988 ein "Bomb-Bag" nach Frankfurt transportiert habe, welches angeblich für das PanAm 103 Attentat verwendet wurde.

    Heute kann durch MEBO zweifelsfrei bewiesen werden, dass das angebliche "Bomb-Bag" ein normales on-line Bag war, welches von Berlin (TXL) mit PanAm flight PA-643) in Frankfurt auf PanAm PA-103/B transferiert und in London Heathrow von seiner Besitzerin/Passagierin ausgecheckt wurde!
    Bitte lesen Sie den grossen EBOL Kommentar nach dem Artikel "A tale of three atrocities" auf diesem Bloc vom 17. August 2010.
    sorry this is only a computer "Babylon" translation in language german/english:

    Air Malta company should make new of damage complaint to submit against ALL those maintain, publishes and to represent that Air Malta, flight KM-180 on 21 December 1988; transported a "Bomb Bag" to Frankfurt, which allegedly for the PanAm 103 assassination attempt was used.

    Today it can be free of doubts proven by MEBO that the alleged "Bomb Bag" a normal on-line Bag was, from Berlin (TXL)flight PanAm PA-643 and the Bag was transfered in Frankfurt on PanAm PA-103/B then in London Heathrow were the bag checking out from its owner/Passenger !
    Please read the large EBOL comment after the article "A tale of three atrocities" on this Bloc of 17th August 2010.

    by Edwin & Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland

  3. The theory that the Samsonite suitcase that contained the barometricly operated bomb that was loaded onto PanAm 103 from a cargo depot at Heathrow Airport is quite plausible.
    With PanAm's normal route across the Atlantic the device would have detonated at the prescibed altitude so there would have been no need for any timing mechanism.
    However, with such a scenario it would imply a conspiracy—within the intelligence community we knew at the time that three very senior agents had entered the UK via Heathrow in December 1988 around the second week. Were they, in any way implicated in the terrorist act?
    Suspicions not only point to Heathrow Airport but also to Liverpool.